Photographers settle suit over nude Monroe photos

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:53pm EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A dispute over seven nude photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken in a hotel room six weeks before her death has been settled, lawyers said on Monday.

Photographer Bert Stern, who owns the rights to thousands of Monroe images, shot the photographs in July 1962 at Los Angeles' Bel Air Hotel. The session, which became known as the last sitting, is believed to be the final time the star, who died six weeks later at age 36, posed for pictures.

In a lawsuit filed in September in New York State Supreme Court, Stern said he lent the pictures to Eros Magazine and that they were never returned.

Stern said he did not realize they were missing until he was approached by photographers Michael Weiss and Donald Penny, who had the pictures and wanted to license them.

Stern sued the two photographers demanding the return of the photographs plus $1 million and unspecified punitive damages for lost income relating to the licensing of the images.

Penny and Weiss said they had been found in a trash can, according to their lawyer, Jamie Brickell.

"The parties have resolved all issues and are moving forward amicably," Brickell said in a statement.

Stern said on Monday that he no longer believed the pictures had been stolen. Other details of the settlement were not disclosed.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)